Orpe Documents

The earliest available reference to any Orpe is 1538. John Orpe was a monk at Croxden Abbey (north-west of Uttoxeter) and is named in a Deed transfering the Abbey property to King Henry VIII.

rtf file version

A Deed of September 1538, issued in the course of the dissolution of the monasteries under King Henry VIII, relating to the transfers of rights to the Abbey buildings and lands to the King.

To all Christ's faithful to whom this present writing may come, we, Thomas Chalner, abbot of the monastery or abbey of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Croxden, in the county of Stafford, diocese of Coventry and Lichfield, of the Cistercian Order and of the convent of the place, greetings in the eternal Lord. Know ye that we, the aforesaid abbot and convent, with our unanimous assent and agreement . . . give, grant, render, deliver and confirm to the most illustrious and invincible prince and our lord, Henry, by the grace of God of England and France, king, defender of the faith, lord of Ireland and on earth supreme head of the church in England under Christ, all our said monastery or abbey of Croxden . . . In faith and witness whereof, we the aforesaid abbot and convent, have affixed our common seal and have signed with our own hands, dated the 17th day of the month of September in the year of our Lord 1538 in the 30th year of the reign of Henry VIII.

Thomas Chalner abbot of Croxden , William Beche , Thomas Rolleston , Henry Rothwell , Robert Clarke , Robert Keydr , Thomas Kelynge , John Standlow , John Thornton , Richard Meyre , John Orpe , Thomas Hendon , John Almon

There were four witnesses to the deed, George Vernon Esq., Ronald Corbett, Walter Orton, gentleman, and Lord Edmund Streetage.


John Wesley's Letters

To William Orpe

William Orpe was a yeoman farmer's son at Prestwood, in Staffordshire. He became an itinerant preacher at Leeds in August 1765, after a year on trial; and is said to have been `one of the best Hebrew linguists of the day.' Wesley's esteem for him appears in the letters of December 14, 1765, and September 18 and December 16, 1766. He advises him as to his marriage on September 2, 1767. Wesley spelt his name `Orp.'

LONDON, November 13, 1765.

MY DEAR BROTHER,-You must in no wise return to your father's; it would be at the price of your soul. You have already made the experiment, and you made it long enough, till you had wellnigh quenched the Spirit. If you should leap into the furnace again, how would you expect that God would bring you out?

As to your temptation concerning preaching, it is nothing uncommon. Many have had it as well as you, and some of them for a time gave place to the devil and departed from the work. So did John Catermole; so did James Morgan: but God scourged them back again. Do not reason with the devil, but pray, wrestle with God, and He will give you light. - I am Your affectionate brother.

To Mr. Will. Orpe, At Mr. Dickenson's, Near the Dolphin, In Birmingham.

1 Orpe was second of the three preachers in Staffordshire, where Methodists had to suffer much from the mob.

2 Olivers had been appointed to Glasgow in August.

To William Orpe

London, December 14 1765

My Dear Brother - You have a clear call to go home for a short season. But let it be as short as you can. Let the dead bury their dead. But follow thou Me.' I do not know that either getting a licence or taking the oaths would signify a rush. These are things which the mob has little regard to.' Not that there is anything in those oaths that at all entangles your conscience. The very same thing which you thereby engage to do every honest man must do without that engagement. We in particular shall `bear true allegiance to our Sovereign Lord King George,' whether we swear so to do or no. The main point is to be all devoted to God. You might begin the Sunday service at Birmingham as soon as the Church service ends. - I am Your affectionate brother.

To Mr. Will. Orpe, At Mr. Ezekiel King's, In Stroud, Gloucestershire.

28 John Wesley's Letters [Sept. 1760.

To William Orpe

TIVERTON, September 18, 1766.

My DEAR BROTHR, - Certainly Mr. Ward ought not to be a trustee, nor any person who is not a member of our Society. Neither can Francis Whitehead or Thomas Underhill, seeing the majority of the present trustees are against them. You must needs have men of peace and those who love the cause of God and the whole Methodist plan. A new conveyance may include the whole. But I doubt whether you should not discharge such a lawyer immediately. Go on, calm and steady. - I am, dear Billy, Your affectionate friend and brother.

To Mr. Will. Orpe, At Mrs. Wright's, Baker, In Wednesbury. Per Bristol and Gloucester.

To William Orpe

LONDON, December z6, 1766.

DEAR BILLY, - I did intend to give William Fugill four or five guineas if - his behaviour was unblameable. But it has not been so ; therefore I alter my intention, and give the rest to them that deserve it better. The circumstances you mention are very considerable, and I am afraid amount to a full proof that at this very time his heart is not right either with God or with his brethren.

33 Dec. 1766

To William Orpe

I do not see but in a particular case you may preach in such a meeting-house. We may repair, but we must not build houses yet. If you require another preacher, I will look for one. But Assistants are not so plenty as blackberries. I hope you are visiting from house to house. This will do execution ! - I am, dear Billy, Your affectionate friend and brother.

To Mr. Orpe, At Mr. Ezekiel King's, In Stroud, Gloucestershire.

To William Orpe

Wesley is here seen behind the scenes in his preacher's courtship. Orpe had been two years an itinerant, and Wesley gives him instructions as to the agreement it would be wise to make with his intended wife. The marriage evidently turned out well. His daughter Mary (Bray?) mated the Rev. Joseph Brookhouse; and their daughter mated T. W. Young, son of the Rev. Robert Young.

PEMBROKE, September 2, 1767.

MY DEAR BROTHER, - I advise you to tell her immediately, either in person or by letter (whichever you think safest),

63 Sept. 1767,

To William Orpe

`I dare not settle in any one place: God has called me to be a travelling preacher. Are you willing to accept of me upon these terms ? And can you engage never directly or indirectly to hinder me from travelling? If not, it is best for us to part. It cannot be avoided.' - I am, dear Billy, Yours affectionately.

To Mr. Will. Orpe, At Mr. Michael Dobinson's, In Derby. With speed.

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